The family, as a social institution, performs several functions. Various opinions have been expressed regarding the functions of the family. In this blog article, we will be exploring the various functions of the family in society.

According to Kingsley Davis, there are four main functions of the family-

  1. Reproduction,
  2. Maintenance,
  3. Placement, and
  4. Socialization

Ogburn and Nimkoff have mentioned six major functions of family-

  1. Affection,
  2. Economic,
  3. Recreation,
  4. Religious,
  5. Protective, and
  6. Educational.

Maclver classifies the functions of the family into two types-

  1. Essential Functions
          (a) The stable satisfaction of sex needs,
          (b) Production and rearing children,
          (c) Provision of home
  2. Non-essential Functions
          (a) Economic
          (b) Education
          (c) Religions
          (d) Politics
          (e) Recreational

In simple, the Functions of a family can be divided into two types, such as.

  1. Primary functions
  2. Secondary Functions

Primary Functions of Family

  1. Biological Functions: The care and nurturing of children, which is essential for their physical and emotional development, is part of the family’s biological purpose in terms of the reproduction and continuance of the human species. It is a crucial role of the family.
    • Stable Satisfaction of Sex Needs: Sex drive is powerful in human beings. The family regulates the sexual behaviour of members through its agent, “The Marriage”.
    • Reproduction and Rearing of Children: The production process is institutionalized in the family. Here the function of rearing children is also done.
  2. Psychological Function: The family gives psychological support to its members. Here the mental and psychological growth of children begins in the family.
  3. Security and Maintenance: Social Security and maintenance are also done by the family.
  4. Provision of Home: A family requires a house or a household. Family provides not only shelter but also requirements of food and economic stability.
  5. Socialization: Family is the first institute of socialization. Here children are taught to become social men.

Secondary Functions

  1. Economic Functions: The family fulfils the economic needs of the family. The economic securities are provided in the family without any conditions.
  2. Education: The family provides basic education to children. When a child grows up, he learns to manage situations outside the family. Elementary education and language training is also given in the family. With intelligence, he can control his emotions and his behaviour.
  3. Religion: Family is the basic training centre for the child for religious actions. The children learn from their parent’s various religious virtues.
  4. Recreation: Recreation is a basic function of the family. Recreation is mainly based on family. Various types of recreational activities do in a family with the participation of members.
  5. Other Functions: Family also provide other functionality such as politics and relational function in kinships.

At last, the functions of the family are very important in our whole life activities.